Quota to be imposed on HR flat steel imports to Eurasian Economic Union countries from December

The Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) will impose a quota for hot-rolled flat steel imports to members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) for one year starting from December 1, 2019.

The EEU countries are Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The total quota for the EEU bloc will be 1.33 million tonnes, the EEC announced last week.

Volumes exceeding the quota will be a subject to a 20% special duty.

The defensive measure will not be applied to shipments from developing countries, the least developed countries or to shipments from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The measures will, however, will apply to imports from former CIS ‘associate member’ Ukraine.

The quota is lower than the amount of HR flat steel imported by Russia alone in 2018.

The largest steel consuming country in the EEU, Russia’s steel use was 41.2 million tonnes in 2018, according to the World Steel Association (Worldsteel). And that year, data from the International Steel Statistics Bureau (ISSB) shows that Russia imported 1.36 million tonnes of hot-rolled flat steel, with most of that total (512,719 tonnes) coming from Kazakhstan.

According to the ISSB, imports to the Russia from Ukraine amounted to 448,634 tonnes in 2018, while Austria shipped 111,669 tonnes and South Korea 104,873 tonnes.

The latest data available from Worldsteel shows that the other EEU members consumed a combined total of around 5.5 million tonnes of steel products in 2017.

Fastmarkets’ weekly price assessment for steel hot-rolled sheet, domestic, cpt Moscow, Russia, was 45,100-45,500 rubles ($689-695) per tonne on August 12, including 20% VAT, narrowing upward from 44,400-45,500 rubles per tonne in the previous week due to seasonally good demand.

The EEC opened the trade case after three Russian flat steel producers - Magnitogorsk Iron & Steel Works (MMK), Novolipetsk Steel (NLMK) and Severstal - lodged a complaint in August 2018.

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